Saturday, March 14, 2009

Birth Story - Part 3

See part 1 here

See part 2 here

I went back into the house and to my bathroom to be alone for a few minutes to cry on my own, where T.J. found me. I asked him to get Charlotte to check me again. I was still 7cm. At this point, Charlotte was done fooling around. She laid out my options:

I could have her break my water to see if it helped. My waters had been "bulging" since I was 3cm, and it could be preventing the baby's head from engaging and dilating me the rest of the way. The risk was that the baby was mispositioned, and this would essentially end our ability to get the baby correctly positioned on its own. We also talked about the risk of cord prolapse, which would result in an emergency transfer, and meconium in the water, which may or may not necessitate a transfer depending on how much it was.

Or, I could go to the hospital - where they would break my water, give me pitocin, and probably an epidural at this point. Let me tell you that I *so* wanted to say "hospital". I'd just had a terrifyingly hard contraction on the stairs, and now faced even worse if we wanted to get things going. Charlotte was willing to let me keep going as we were, but she was against it. It had been too long, I was too tired, and she was concerned about my uterus being able to contract down after the baby was born due to the prolonged labor.

After discussing with T.J. and Laura, we chose to break my water at 12:30. I had a couple contractions on the bed after that, then a few on the toilet, a few in the shower, and then I got to go to the TUB! I was so excited to try the tub, everyone said how wonderful and soothing the water was, and how much easier contractions were. Um, yeah. Not so much for me. I'm sure that it really does work well for some people, but after 3 contractions there I thought I was going to die. So I got out and ran for the bed again before the next contraction hit - everyone else scrambled to move all the birthing supplies into the bedroom, and the tub they worked so hard to fill sat, unused. Le sigh.

The only thing I remember about the next contraction was blinding pain - it was, as I said after it finished, a whole new world of hurt. I was in transition. And then Charlotte was checking me again and I was ready to push! I think it was around 2 or 2:30pm, but I don't know for sure. Pushing was hard work, the contractions changed some, but generally it was just so much better to push than to try NOT to push, which I'd been doing for about 6 hours. I do remember thinking though that every part of labor sucked - pushing was no real relief.

We used the toilet for a few pushes, but that tired out my legs, so they set up the birthing chair. I really liked that. It was comfortable on my legs and knees, and I could rest easily in between contractions. They moved me to the bed for a few side-lying pushes, but baby's heart rate dropped a little (from like 150 to 110 - still quite high) so it was back to the chair.

Baby was crowning around 4pm, and shot right out when I misinterpreted a look from Charlotte after the head came out. She had told me when I started that at some point she would tell me to keep pushing, and I should push really hard no matter what. Once the head was out, I saw a look on her face that I thought meant the baby was stuck so I asked (cried? shouted?) "Do I keep pushing" and she said yes, so I *really* pushed and baby came flying right out! Laura actually said she missed it because she blinked. It was 4:09pm - 41 hours into labor.

Charlotte gave the baby to me, and I looked and saw that it was a BOY! I was amazed at how big the baby was. I still am. Not that I knew how heavy or long he was, it just seemed, well, unnatural for something so big to come out of me! He was quiet at first, but not in a bad way, and then he started crying. There was light meconium in the amniotic fluid, so Charlotte did a lot of suctioning in his mouth to make sure he didn't aspirate anything. He was all full of mucus, and was having trouble with his breathing normally, so they had the oxygen out for him, and stuck a tube down his throat to try to get it out. He was very pink though, and was breathing, clear lungs, good heartbeat - just not the kind of chest compressions they like to see I guess. He scored an 8 and an 8 on his Apgars. They focused on him for quite a while, checking periodically to make sure I wasn't bleeding out and to see if I was feeling contractions for the placenta. I'm not sure how long that took to deliver - maybe 20 or 30 minutes? T.J. cut the cord sometime before the placenta was delivered and after the cord stopped pulsing so they could work on baby some more.

After that things calmed down a bit. Once baby got the all clear, they wrapped him up and gave him to T.J. so they could check me out.

I was given some herbs to help control the bleeding, though Charlotte said I was doing fine. I felt really good, not dizzy or anything, so that was a relief. Laura reported back to me that T.J. was showing baby around his new place, which made us smile.

I was pretty much stuck on the bed so that Charlotte could stitch me up. I won't go into details, except to say that I'm glad she had anesthesia, because it was a LOT of stitches. Then I went to have a shower and they finished cleaning up the bedroom and remaking the bed for us. Charlotte and Melanie did the newborn exam (weight, length, etc... there was a whole list) and then they helped me try to nurse, but he was having none of that. Poor kid, he was pretty angry about the suctioning. He did suck on my pinky for a bit though.

Everyone got ready to go and left between 8 and 9 pm, and we were on our own! We called our parents finally to let them know about the baby, ordered some pizza, and settled in.

T.J. was so amazing through my labor. I can't believe I ever doubted his interest/ability to help me through labor. I've never been more proud that he is my husband than I was last weekend. The labor might have been worth it just to experience how he took care of me.

My birth team was incredible. I think we could even have used another person! It was amazing how much work went into it. I'm so thankful for all three of them for taking good care of us.


Goulart-Nathe Family March 14, 2009 at 10:30 PM  

WONDERFUL story. You are my hero. I gave up and was crying for an epidural after 12 hours of labor. You guys are beautiful!

I'm a heart warrior! March 14, 2009 at 11:09 PM  

What an incredible story. I'm sorry that your labor lasted so long. You are SO strong. I'm happy the home birth worked out. Congratulations!

LawChick721 March 15, 2009 at 2:18 AM  

Absolutely amazing! You SO my hero!! These photos are priceless and you make a beautiful family! Congrats!!

Renee March 15, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

you've got me crying, as usual! what a beautiful story. you guys are awesome!

Cici March 15, 2009 at 10:58 AM  

That is amazing! I'm sorry for the long, strenuous labor, but I'm glad you got to have it the way you wanted! Congratulations!

A Baby Peach March 15, 2009 at 12:03 PM  

Your birth story was amazing!!! I have enjoyed following your story and see you on the nest (bump) sometimes. I wish I was brave enough to do it at home like you - so strong! Congratulations, your son is beautiful!

MysteriousMindy March 15, 2009 at 2:16 PM  

Aww, you got me crying like a baby! You are so amazing! You have inspired me to pursue many things about my future babies that I never even gave thought before. Thank you and I look forward to continue to read about Domerbaby's life!

Mindy Johnson (Morris)

kimmitri March 15, 2009 at 8:59 PM  

wow, what an experience! and you have some absolutely fantastic pictures of everything. congrats again on your new baby :)

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